pablus wrote:While it is very important to practice scales, I don't think Segovia's scales are any better than other scales mentioned above.
However, I think its still better to practice some musical fragments that contain scale runs. This way it is easier to train how to make music, to sound less robotic.
Also quite often scales begin or end with some other muscial content and it is also important to practice transitions from, say, arpeggio to scales etc.
I agree and even think the Segovia scales may be lesser than some of the above mentioned scales... Main thing is that they go so high on the fingerboard up into ranges very rarely used. This requires changing the angle of the hand and even moving thumb from behind neck. This position change may be useful to one that already has rock solid left hand technique but could be 'dsitracting' to a beginner just training the hands. I rarely play them into the highest octave. In fact I use the C major form more often than the others and move it up the fretboard for different keys.
As far as musical fragments... I use a lot of scale runs from pieces that I will someday play. Concerto De Aranjuez has some good ones. This makes scale practice more musical and serves a second purpose in that these scale runs will present no problems when I do get around to tackling these pieces... It also involves fingerings that will be encountered in 'the real world' later. To play variations between scales and chords I often pplay an E form or C form, etc. bar chord and then alternate scale runs from there using the first finger in bar position to press the 1st finger notes in the scale. This has an added benefit of teaching my barre finger to press only the notes being played at any given time.
About robotic playing of scales, I always try to make even basic scales as musical as possible... And when I warm up using the Segovia scales (or other) I like to add tempo variations (i.e. quarter notes alternated with 8th notes, or 8ths alternated with 1/4s, or triplets, etc.) and up one octave then back down, then up two and back down, etc., or add vibrato, etc. to make them more musical. I feel this is much more useful than simply practicing speed.
I also find it useful to practice the right hand combinations in sequence. Meaning rather than imimimimim (stop) mimimimimi (stop) aiaiaiaiaiai (stop), etc. I will play imimimim>aiaiaiaia>mimimimimi> etc without stopping or loosing tempo. Basically treating the scale with all right hand fingering variations as a single unit. Also to make the change between imimimim to mimimimimi I will repeat the root note of the scale. A little harder to explain that in text without writing it down in notation or showing someone... But I think it's clear what I mean... Well, I hope